Retail Stores and Mind Games

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How many times have you gone into a grocery store and bought only the items you went there to get? More often than not, you ended up with more things in your basket than you ever intended. The same is usually true at department stores. Just a coincidence? Nope.
Grocery and retail stores often feel like an unorganized mess with products in the middle of the aisles and clothing racks in your pathway. These messes are actually, believe it or not, intentional. Everything is positioned with great thought and strategy behind it.
One of the key components to a retail facility is the layout. The layout of any store is essential to sales. The next time you walk into a store notice how you can’t walk straight in and keep walking. There is almost always a big table of clothing at American Eagle, Express, or Gap that stops you in your tracks. Otherwise known as a “speed bump,” it slows you down at the start of your shopping experience so you will proceed at the same slow rate throughout the rest of the shop.
Grocery stores have created one of the most effective retail layouts. Almost all grocery stores have the essential items located in the back of the store. This forces the customer that is only shopping for bread and milk to walk through all the other products in the store before getting to what they really need.
Another tactic many shops employ is smell. In a grocery store, the bakery is usually near the entrance so customers can smell the baked goods. Of course, it’s a bad idea to be at a grocery store when you are hungry. Also, some fast food chains have actually re-directed the fans from their kitchen to vent the smells outside, enticing customers to come in.
This little technique is mild compared to what stores like Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister do. These stores are known for having their associates spray the clothing with the brand’s cologne each day. The result is either you love the smell and purchase the cologne or you go home empty-handed with a migraine.
Abercrombie and Hollister also blare loud music in their stores. This is supposed to create the feeling that the customer is in a club environment, feeling sexy and trendy, thus wanting to shop more. So, if you didn’t leave with a migraine from the smell, you are sure to leave with one after your eardrums have burst.

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Photo of Current360 Associate Creative Director Robert Womack

Rob Womack

If there’s anyone who can honestly say, “Been there, done that,” it’s Rob. After traveling the world for seven years in his 20’s, Rob went to LA and started working in film production. Then it was off to New York, where he learned how to program, which eventually brought him back home to Louisville to build websites. At Current360, Rob heads up our in-house production studio, creating all things digital for our clients — videos, commercials, radio spots, and a lot more. 

When he’s at home, Rob likes to create things like homemade kombucha and music.